Bonnie Gull Seafood Bar, Exmouth Market

I’m a big seafood fan, but because it’s generally expensive for shellfish and I wouldn’t know how to cook a whole crab if it crawled into my oven and shouted out directions, I never make my own.

So when I saw Bonnie Gull Seafood Bar had relaunched, I got flashbacks of food envy at reading the Londoner’s blog, and immediately booked in a table.


It’s tucked away on Exmouth Market, which is King’s Cross way. I live near Wimbledon, so this was no mean feat to get there- especially considering I had to drag Jonathan round the Piccadilly line moaning “why are we going this far for posh fish and chips?” the whole time.

When we eventually rocked up, our chirpy waiter seated us and explained the Bonnie Gull concept, and more importantly, the daily specials.

We opted for five dishes, all from the Sea section of the menu (when in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in a seafood bar, leave the steak behind). Potted clams, beef dripping chips (to die for), a mackeral pate with sourdough, fillet of mackerel with gnocchi, and, the main event- Smash your own crab.


Jonathan’s eyes lit up when the waiter delivered a board of freshly caught and freshly cooked crab, complete with hammer, and crazy claw crushers. It was like playtime and dinnertime rolled into one, and all complaints about the tube crowds and the rain were replaced with joyous smashing. The meat was wonderful- light, fresh and lots of it. Who says you shouldn’t play with your food?

I ordered my first ever Bloody Mary, and I know I have friends who may disown me for this, but I really didn’t like it. I’m sure the quality of the Bonnie Mary is just fine, but I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy drinking a savoury drink. First and last!



On the plus side, the Bonnie Mary came with a fresh Britsh oyster, ready for knocking back. Unsure of oyster etiquette, I gave it a sort of quick half chew before swallowing, meaning what should’ve been a moment of luxury- elegance at a push- was actually more of a brief choking and glamorous eye watering. Totally worth it.

Overall, I loved Bonnie Gull. It’s ditsy sixties seaside decor and the novelty of playing with tools to get to your lunch makes it a real contender for dates, and it’s smart enough to show off to your foodie mates too.

If you’re going to go, my recommendation would be to get the whole Smash Your Own Crab (we got the half) and a couple of sides/things to pick at, and you have to promise me you’ll handle your oyster better than I did.

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Dirty Bones London Review

In my opinion, the best way to spend a celebratory evening is by feeding and watering your nearest and dearest. Luckily for me, that’s also how Dirty Bones London wanted to spend it’s one year anniversary, so Jaime, Jonathan and I rocked up to wish them Happy Birthday.

dirty bones

Unlike every other birthday party I’ve been to, it wasn’t BYOB. In fact, Dirty Bones were rolling out the free cocktails like there was no tomorrow and if there was, it certainly wasn’t a school night.


We hung out in the underground bar area, supping our freebies and snapping up mini burger canapes, until our table was ready. We were led into the smaller of the two dining rooms, snuck in an extra free cocktail and ordered away. They had a set birthday tasting menu on for the evening, so the toughest decision we had to make all night was whether to go for the Dog, Burger, or Wings. Ever the optimist, I suggested that in my group of three we should order one of each and all try a bite of each others…

No chance with these hustlers.


To start, we had a giant lamb rib with spicy chicken wing- that’ll be the Bones, then- followed by our incredible main course. I had the wings, which were succulent and crispy and had just enough kick. All mains were served with a portion of fries and mac’n'cheese EACH. That’s six sides between three people, and though I’d like to say we were far too sensible to attempt scoffing the lot, I just can’t lie to you guys.


The mac’n'cheese was especially delicious, and I say that as someone who usually resents paying for pasta I’m used to tipping out of a microwave packet. I don’t know what they put in it to make it spicy- it didn’t seem like paprika- but there was enough zing in there to make me grateful we all got individual portions.

You can definitely see where they get the Dirty part from, not only was the food unapologetically unhealthy good for the soul, we were all covered in sticky sauce, mac and cheese, ketchup and grease by the end. The staff were in no rush to kick us out to refill the table (a novelty in itself in London restaurants), so we had plenty of time to groom ourselves into looking presentable again, soundtracked by the amazing chilled covers the live band next door was crooning.

The whole shebang (that’s three freebie cocktails, a starter, main with two sides and a dessert each) cost £20 per person. Which is probably the best deal for food I’ve had in like, ever, so as well as feeling enormously fat proud of ourselves for finishing everything, our pockets weren’t that much lighter afterwards either.

All round, I massively enjoyed Dirty Bones London and will definitely be back.

Dirty Bones, 20 Kensington Church St

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The Exchange- Rooftop Cafe Review

I love a view. I also love good food. Generously, the Rooftop Cafe (Top floor of The Exchange on London Bridge Street) has combined the two so you don’t have to cart a three course meal to a city-top point yourself.

You have to clamber up what looks and feels, essentially, like a fire escape to get there. Not the most atmospheric entrance, but in a way it works because you have zero expectations by the time you breathlessly reach the top, so they’re well prepped to immediately blow you away.

We sat in the cosy cubby room, and let the wine flow. I ordered the scallops roe, beef and avocado meatballs, and the hazelnut cake. I’d recommend all of these (perhaps not the cake,a little dry for my liking), though it seems like the menu might change pretty regularly- each menu had the date on it.

In a previous life, the space was a caretaker’s flat. Not that you could tell, the place is kitted out with snazzy string chairs and pops of vibrancy, no toolboxes or overalls in sight. Service was smooth and fast, and despite the rain I ventured out onto the terrace to snap a couple of pictures. The atmotphere was so lovely, really chilled out and you cannot argue with the views. It’s a shame we were too busy tucking into our mains when the sun was setting, but I’ll definitely be heading back on a sunnier evening for cocktails and a city-wide overlook.

Have you been to the Rooftop Cafe? Do you want a meal with a view? Visit Rooftop Cafe’s website here.


Lamb and Lion review: York’s most ‘York-esque’ pub

“Don’t look if you’re squeamish.”

Not something you expect to hear in the middle of your lunch, but I guess rare birds don’t tend to make a habit of swooping, killing and eating a pigeon in front of a crowd. Not least while the crowd is halfway through their brocolli and goat’s cheese soup, anyway.

This is why I love the Lamb & Lion. Not because hawks murder pigeons in the courtyard on a regular basis (apparently that’s only happened once, we were -ahem- lucky to catch that spectacle), but because there really is something unusual about this pub.

Lamb and Lion, High Petergate

The food isn’t the always greatest in the world- the horseradish to beef ratio on my sandwich was too disproportionate for my liking, and I’m not afraid of a good hunk of spice- but the setting is wonderful. Candles light up every cranny of the crooked ceilings, everything seems like it’s eased into the building over a period spanning centuries. It feels like a proper York pub- one you couldn’t possibly imagine in any other city.

The service, unfortunately, has let it down before. Having been twice, I was once overcharged (my maths didn’t catch up with me until later that day, too late to ask for it to be recalculated), and when visiting with my parents, they managed to forget a main ingredient on my stepdad’s order. When asked where the bacon was in the “Poached egg and bacon salad” at the end of our meal, having had no chance to catch a waitress beforehand, we were told the chef was having a bad day, and we could have a slice of bacon brought out if we really liked. We politely declined.

Despite this, I wholeheartedly recommend this pub to everyone. Yes, the staff may have sort of bumbled through service, but I genuinely think they were honest, mistakes. They’re always lovely and pleasant, and the fact I’m overlooking being charged six quid for two half pints of coke to urge you to go should speak volumes, really.

The Lamb and Lion is the most York-esque pub in the city. The building is fascinating, and all food and drink is sourced locally. The rooms are a fantastic shabby-chic, and the service is well-meaning and the atmosphere is ideal for a good catch up and a little marvel on how beautiful this city is. And you might even catch a David Attenborough-style live show out of the window.